Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly jumps into the record books as the team’s all-time winningest skipper, surpassing Jack McKeon.
The Marlins skipper won his 282nd game with the organization. It is the most of any skipper in franchise history. Jack McKeon, who was the manager from 2003-05 and in 2011, has 281 career wins.
The win total is significant, as is the way the current roster is playing ball at the moment, which is the best in the Majors. Just a week ago we were talking about whether or not there would be the continuation of a season. Now, the Miami Marlins are proving this is a team that other contenders must be aware of.
"“Hopefully, I’ve been through the worst of what we’re going to go through, as far as getting through some stuff,” Mattingly said of the historic win. “Obviously, an ownership change and a build. So hopefully, we’re on the other side of that.”"
Mattingly was around when the Marlins were still owned by Jeffrey Loria and fielded a roster of All-Star players but there was no continuity. Now, with a younger organization, a commitment to building a slow-rising contender and veterans who are filling as their roles as supporting cast members, this is a team that could rather should, surprise the naysayers.
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"“He brings a lot of presence,” said Marlins closer Brandon Kintzler, who logged the save. “It’s Don Mattingly. You watched him from when you were a kid. The guy was gritty. That’s what he brings. That’s what I hope this team becomes, a gritty team.”"
The road to this point hasn’t been pretty, with many losses that were by virtue of youth and inexperience. This is a roster that has been shuffled twice already due to COVID-19 and figures to change a bit once the players who were placed on the injured list return to duty.
It’s a small sample, however, Mattingly has worked magic so far.
The Marlins have shown more stability in their lineup this season and more confidence on the mound. Mattingly used his bullpen in the second game of the doubleheader on Wednesday to save his rotation, which has drastically changed since the opening series.
At times in his four-plus seasons in Miami, national media have been critical of how the skipper has handled his pitching staff, especially closers in each of the past four campaigns.
The Miami Marlins now travel to New York to face the Mets in a weekend series which could once again prove this is a team of contenders. Right now from a record standpoint, they are the best team in baseball. From a talent standpoint, that’s debatable.
From a manager’s standpoint, Mattingly is the best the Marlins have ever had. His win total proves it. Now, he can build on that mark and distance himself from the rest of the pack.